David Moyes and West Ham- the two parties have quite a history together. Moyes is in his 2nd stint with the club after being sacked in the first one. He was rehired last season with the Hammers in trouble. They looked like they would go down under him but the former Everton manager found the right balance just when it mattered and, in the end, West Ham comfortably stayed up.
It was interesting to see the turn around and form from the Hammers, and one could even go as far as saying that the feel good factor around a Moyes managed side has not been this good since his days managing Everton a decade ago.
At that time Moyes was seen as a special manager mostly because he kept regularly getting Everton into the top 6 in the league despite a small transfer budget every summer. He impressed so much that he convinced Sir Alex Ferguson that he would be the man to eventually take him over at Manchester United. The rest is history of course and after spells at United and Real Sociedad Moyes reputation was in tatters.
Many thought that getting Moyes back in at West Ham made no sense and to be fair for the majority of his time at the club in his 2nd term they would have been right. Despite West Ham picking up form and collecting 12 points in their last month which saved them from possible relegation we have to look at the hard facts.
It would be easy for any West Ham fan to get carried away- and some even hailed Moyes after the club was saved from relegation this season. The problem is is that Moyes was a contributing factor in the first place to how low the club had fallen last season. The hard facts tell us that Moyes winning percentage this season is 28%, that’s actually lower than when he was sacked the first time around.
From the 21 games he managed this season he won just 6 games, but of course those wins were the ones that mattered towards the end of the season. He did well and there was a feeling of togetherness- us v them, the fight was on and victory was had. One just wonders in the cold winter months coming up if the games played after the restart were just papering over the cracks?
Moyes’ West Ham earned 23 points in those 21 games, which if averaged out would mean that over a full season he was heading for around 36 points. That’s edgy stuff and by no means guarantees safety in any way shape or form.
Having said that if West Ham begin the season the way they ended it, they will be fine and even could challenge for a top 10 place. But one has to wonder how much of that run in was based on a comeback of hope and not skill, quality and a consistency that is needed to make an impact over the course of a season?
So far the Hammers much like other Premier League clubs have been quiet in the transfer market. Although they have made Tomas Soucek a permanent signing after he impressed last season. He has been snapped up for £15m which is a real bargain in today’s game.
Perhaps the Hammers biggest battle before the new season kicks off is keeping Declan Rice who is on the radar of a few clubs. If history tells us anything it is that West Ham have an uncanny ability to have world class talent in their ranks who are always sold when clubs come knocking.
The Hammers kick off the new season at home to Newcastle and then they are away to Arsenal before returning home to play Wolves. A good start will be needed to keep any confidence that has lingered over from the summer. If not this could end up being a long hard season for the Hammers. One way or another this season should reveal if Moyes has been able to find the magic once again or if those few weeks in the summer were just a flash in the pan.
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